New Beginnings and Grand Finales

Well, here we are with an “ice day” on the last day of the first month of 2023! Time for another blog post to update you on what has been going on and what is in the works!

We had a delightful PFLASA meeting on January 13th, our first week back, which included a visit from AISD District 2 Trustee Ofelia Zapata. She is eager to hear from parents about what concerns them, so please reach out to her if there is anything you want to share. She is also conducting a series of meetings at schools in her district, which she calls “Lead with Love for our Community and Education” meetings. These are hosted as a way to engage and share information, events and news with District 2 parents & community members. Upcoming meetings are planned for February 14th at Langford Elementary School and March 8th at Blazier Elementary School. You can connect with Trustee Zapata at 512 699-0809.

Our second PFLASA meeting of 2023 (last Friday) was also remarkable for at least two reasons. First, we had Academy Director Andy Paulson talk to us about new student applications (how many have been received, where things are, etc). We really enjoyed the visit! Secondly, and not so positively, the room was FREEZING!!! We all huddled in our coats throughout the meeting. We have asked for help in this regard, so hopefully, if you come to our next meeting on Feb 10th, it won’t feel like you have arrived at the North Pole!

On February 11th, we have our New Parent Coffee, an annual event organized and run by PFLASA, which allows parents of newly accepted students to come and pose any and all questions to parents of current students. No administration or faculty are present. No question is silly or off limits. If you would like to lend your insider knowledge about PFLASA to new parents who may be wondering if the school is a good fit——there are still plenty of spaces available on the volunteer sign up. You know where to go! All of our sign ups are posted at https://www.lasahighschool.org/signups.

This event comes on the heels of months of work by staff and volunteers (mentoring, recruiting events like Showcase, pushing out information about applications, evaluating and scoring applications, and so on). Acceptance letters will be mailed out and acceptances posted online by Monday February 6. Families then have about 10 days to accept; the deadline to declare commitment to attending LASA is Feb. 17th. Once that decision has been made, those families whose students are LASA-bound will come in for Choice Sheets on March 4th.

With all this focus on the new students who will soon grace our halls, it might seem like not much is going on with our Seniors. But not so! Co-chairs Elise Su and Nalini Kumar and their team of volunteers have been hard at work planning LASA Senior Salute——the special evening of tribute and fun that traditionally happens the night before graduation and at which LASA students receive their Magnet Endorsement. This year, it will be May 31st. More details will be announced soon!

Our Project Graduation volunteer team has also been busy, lining up activities, initiating the grant application that provides some extra funding for the event and much more. This group, led by co-chairs Maria Elena Ramon and Pete Gallego, will be looking for some lead volunteers for specific activities in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled if you want to get in on the action! Project Graduation, an all night alcohol-free and drug-free party for Seniors on the night of graduation, is a blast. It will be held (again) at the East Communities YMCA , which is a fantastic venue for an event like this——with a pool and lots of space to accommodate all kinds of fun activities! They also give us a super deal to rent the facility. With these events and other Spring celebrations, there is much excitement to be had, as Seniors and their families look forward to the grand finale of all their hard work and, we hope, their fun-filled days at LASA High School.

Meanwhile, we have not forgotten the students in between. The process is underway to hire tutors for Biology and at least one additional Physics tutor. We also continue to think about and gather information regarding how to make the tutoring program as effective as possible. Please stay tuned for updates there. Also, if you would like to help as a parent volunteer with the Tutoring/Study Groups committee (not providing tutoring, but helping with program management and administration), please give me a shout!

Stay warm! Be well! There is still a lot of illness going around. Speaking of staying well, our awesome Wellness committee chair, Nina Miller, has a bunch of things planned for parents this Spring, so be on the look out for those announcements soon.

In February, we make special efforts to appreciate our counselors, resource officers/security monitors and our cafeteria staff. We have parent volunteers who have planned specific activities for all of them, but we can all take the opportunity to think about how these professionals support our students and express our appreciation in our own way!

In my next post, I hope to have some updates on tutoring. I also plan to share some information about Parent Class Representatives (what do they do?), which you may not know much about unless you are one! What are the topics you would like to know more about? Reach me with questions or comments at president at pflasa dot org.

Happy 2023!

Welcome back! Just a few announcements and reminders as we kick off the new year.

Come meet AISD Trustee Ofelia Zapata (District 2) at our upcoming PFLASA meeting this Friday, Jan 13th at the usual time and place. Applications for new LASA students are also due Friday.

Tutoring starts up again Jan 17th after school in Physics, Chemistry and Algebra II. Many students find that tutoring works best if they start coming before they are struggling. Also, we recently got additional space adjacent to the library, just for tutoring, which has helped with noise levels and provided more work space. If this was something that put your student off of tutoring earlier in the year, you may want to suggest they try again!

We are now actively seeking Biology tutors, so please spread the word to LASA alumni and families. Interested candidates can send their resumes to president at pflasa dot org.

Don’t forget that next week is another short week as we are off on Monday, Jan 16th in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day.

Have a wonderful first week back!

The Winter Break is Upon Us!


It’s Almost A Wrap!
As our students wrap up the fall semester with finals, I bet we are all looking forward to a nice winter break. Whether you and yours are skiing in the Alps or cozying up on your own coach for some cocoa and old movies, or anything in between—I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe conclusion to the year that was 2022!

What We’ve Been Up To
PFLASA organized and helped pay for a wonderful stress-busting event last week. We brought in Tiny Tails To You—a traveling petting zoo! It was a huge success. The kids came to the small gym during their lunch hour, on the day before finals began, to hold and pet bunnies, hedgehogs, chickens, guinea pigs, chicks, tortoises and bearded dragons. They bonded with each other over the tiny creatures and smiles of delight could be seen far and wide.

On the next day, we had our last PFLASA meeting of the year, which was mainly a chance to share yummy treats and chat. There were cookies and pastries, egg dishes and bacon, fruit and cheese, coffee and tea and much more. It was really fun and may become an annual tradition!

PFLASA offered extra tutoring during the finals period and we continue to work on ways to improve the tutoring program. If you think your child needs tutoring in Physics, Chemistry or Algebra 2 but does not attend our after-school sessions, please talk to your student. Then shoot me an email and let me know why he or she does not go. This will help us refine our program to meet students needs. We will consider adding Biology if there is a need, so please email me about that as well if you want to advocate for that and if you have spoken to your kiddo regarding whether he or she would attend. You can email me about this or anything else at “president at pflasa dot org.”

Our Wellness Committee, led by Nina Miller, put together a wonderful parent guide full of fun activities designed to get your student and whole family interacting (and off of screens!). We even got it translated into Spanish (Thank you, Yolanda Torres and team!). Both the English and Spanish versions can be found here, along with other useful information about wellness resources.

Looking Ahead to January
There are several events involving alumni coming up. On Dec 29, at 6 pm, there will be an LASA alumni celebration and reunion, with a special focus on the class of 2013. Contact Cyril Kuhns for more information, or check out the alumni site here.

Also, on Jan 12, the Latino Outreach Committee will host an event for current Latino LASA Juniors and Seniors and parents. The event is a panel discussion with Latino LASA alumni who will share experiences and advice for the high school journey toward planning for college. There will be a question/answer session as well. Email Cristina or Lina at “latinooutreach at pflasa dot org” with questions.

We will have a special guest at our first PFLASA meeting of 2023—AISD Trustee Ofelia Maldonado Zapata! The meeting begins at 8:15 am in Room T102. She will be first on the agenda after our call to order and approval of prior minutes. She will have time for questions and would like to hear from parents. Trustee Zapata represents the area in which LASA High School is located, District 2. You can learn more about her here, and see the District 2 map, which includes many other elementary and several middle schools in addition to LASA.

Looking Even Farther Ahead, Mark Your New 2023 Calendars!
If you are the type who likes to look ahead, here are some of the bigger events that happen in the Spring and generally need parent volunteers and involvement.

• New Parent Coffee (Feb 11)
• Choice Sheets (March 4)
• Teacher Appreciation Luncheon (April, exact date TBD)
• AP Exams (May 1st-12th) (parent proctors are needed and parent volunteers distribute breakfast/snacks to students)
• Coffeehouse (May 12)
• Senior Salute (May 31)
• Project Graduation (overnight on the night of graduation which is June 1 for LASA)

In April/May, we also try to fill our roster for new board members. Our Bylaws dictate that each year, we need a new person to serve as VP (who then serves as President the next year), Assistant Treasurer (who then serves as Treasurer the next year), and Assistant Secretary (who then serves as Secretary the next year). We will also potentially need two Co-Chairs for the Grants Committee. We would love to have commitments in place by mid-April so that we can vote on these by the end of April. We typically evaluate our budget and approve the new year’s budget in May.

If you would like to serve on the board, or be involved in the budget planning, please reach out to me or anyone on the current board. April/May is also the time we would love to have all committee chair and co-chair positions filled for the new year. See this page for a comprehensive list. Some committees already have a chair or co-chairs set for next year but many don’t, so please consider how you might like to help!

Have a safe and happy holiday. See you in 2023!!!

November Notes

What We’ve Been Up To

Can you believe it? November 2022 is drawing to close! Here is a recap of some recent events.

Parents gave out pies and thank you cards on the last Friday before Thanksgiving break—what fun! Thank you, Rebecca Cook, and every parent who donated goodies and time to create a special way to say thank you to our teachers and staff!

LASA Showcase happened on Wednesday (of the same week) and was by all accounts a big success! There was great turnout for the evening program (open to the public for families wanting to check out LASA) and a delicious dinner provided to teachers and staff beforehand. Thank you, Olga Ovcharenko, our Hospitality chair, for organizing the dinner and to all who donated food and helped set up, serve and clean up! Thank you also to Virginia Jones and Bharathi Jana for their tireless efforts to bring all of the Fall LASA recruitment events together, with Showcase being the final big night. Meanwhile, also on the recruitment front, Jayne Rosso, chair of the PFLASA mentoring program, forges ahead. The program, which provides a variety of support to students working on their LASA applications, extends into January. Learn more about the support available here.

A shout out as well is due to Cristina Hernandez and Lina Porras, co-chairs of the Latino Outreach Committee. They hosted an informal potluck social on Día De Los Muertos for LASA’s Latino families. They are planning a second evening event at the end of this month, at which LASA counselors and administration will be on hand to make remarks and answer questions.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead to December, we will meet on Dec 2nd as usual, but we will conclude our meeting at 9:30 am. If you would like to stay on and help stuff envelopes in the library (for LASA acceptance letters), please stay on! You can sign up here.

In addition, our last meeting of 2022 will be a holiday social. On Dec 16, we will conduct business briefly from about 8:15-8:30 and then hang out and enjoy some refreshments. Please bring some treats to share if you would like. We will supply coffee, tea and juice.

Tutoring and Study Groups

I want to spend the rest of my blog post today talking about tutoring and study groups and other ways your student can get academic support. December means finals, so now is a great time to ensure your student is up to speed on available resources.

PFLASA Tutors
PFLASA has a program by which we hire and pay tutors for certain subjects. Currently, tutoring is available in Chemistry, Physics and Algebra II. Tutors are generally available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 pm in the library, although sometimes there are changes. Encourage your student to listen to announcements and check other references (Blend, LASA Life App, Facebook and Instagram) to be sure the subject in which they want tutoring has not been cancelled on any given day. NOTE: Earlier sessions may be offered during the half days of finals week (December 16-21); please keep an eye on all posting and announcements for details as they become available.

Our tutors are approved by the teachers in each department that teach the subject in which they tutor; they are also in communication with teachers about curriculum, although the amount of involvement varies by teacher.

PFLASA collects numbers on how many students come for tutoring to give us an idea of utilization. It is therefore important that students sign in, so that we know the volume of help being sought. Some students come without specific questions and want to be near a tutor “just in case.” This is awesome! We want those students to sign in as well.

We consider making changes to the tutoring program based on the utilization we can determine. To that end we are looking to hire an additional tutor in Physics, which currently has the most students showing up to receive help, and for which we currently have only one tutor.

We also may make changes based on input from teachers and administration. One input is how students are doing across the board (failure rates) in various subjects. After the first nine weeks of this year, Algebra II stood out as the math class in which the most students are failing, yet our Algebra II tutors have generally received very few students. This is a dynamic we are seeking to better understand. We don’t have plans to hire more Algebra II or other math tutors at this time, until we can better understand the current utilization patterns. In January, we hope to institute a comment QR code, so students can provide feedback regarding their tutoring experience, which may shed some light.

We understand that many parents and students may be concerned about academic performance well above failing. However, in the absence of more nuanced information, failure rates provide a proxy for the subjects in which students are struggling most and utilization provides us the only information we have regarding the level of student interest.

That said, we are open to providing tutoring in additional subjects, if warranted. We would welcome input from parents on this or any other aspect of the tutoring program. Please email me at “president at pflasa dot org” if you have questions or insights to share! I will pass them along as appropriate, and ensure they get to Velvet Hammerschmidt, our chair for this committee.

What Else Is Available?
Your student has many options beyond the PFLASA-sponsored tutors for help. First and foremost, your student should seek out their teacher or a teacher in the same department for office hours to get additional support in a subject or class. If connecting in office hours is difficult for some reason, your student can email the teacher and get help figuring out an alternate plan. Partnering with other students in the same class for self-organized peer tutoring is also a great option.

Some other great resources are also available.

• LASA recently launched a drop-in Writing Center which features 25 peer tutors (all juniors and seniors) “trained and ready to work with students on writing assignments of all kinds.” They are available in the library Monday – Friday at 7:30am, at lunch, and after school (except Friday) until 4:45pm.

• There is also a Math Peer Tutoring resource, organized by the Math Department, that offers help at various levels. The program offers drop-in tutoring available before school and at lunch every day. The peer tutors sign up for these times at their convenience, so the breadth of their expertise differs, depending on who is available. However, all tutors are required to have passed one year of AP Calculus and received the recommendation of their math teacher to participate. The list of these peer tutors is available upon request. Please email me at “president at pflasa dot org” or Ms. Harrelson for more information.

Peer Tutoring in Computer Science is also available. Students can fill out a form to request and arrange tutoring; walk-in peer tutoring is also available in Room 506 on Wednesdays at lunch.

All of these resources and more are described on the LASA website under Students/ Student Support Options. Check out the information here.

Fundraising Winds Down as Recruiting Enters Full Swing

More Money Talk
With the No-Hassle Fundraiser behind us, we are still doing some internal evaluation about how it went and how we might improve things next year when this time comes around again. Check back for updates on what we glean from our analysis. You can always send your thoughts or questions to president@pflasa.org.

We sometimes receive questions from parents such as: Is it possible to know exactly how my donation will be used? Can we direct our donation to a specific activity or type of purchase? There is no easy answer. That is because “earmarking” funds donated during the No-Hassle Fundraiser makes bookkeeping more difficult and can make accomplishing our full scope of work for the year more challenging. It could even result in us having to under-fund some activities or leave some funds unused if they can only be used for specific things. As a result, we generally discourage creating these types of restrictions on incoming donations; however, we try to work with each donor to figure out a way to address any concerns they have.

Where Does the Money Go?
Our biggest ticket items are Instruction Support and Student Support, which each represent about 40 percent of our allocated budget. Instruction Support pays for things like teaching and classroom management equipment, technology support, specialty consumables for the science department such as dissection supplies, training courses, conferences and certification costs for teachers and staff. These expenses come to us as requests from teachers and staff, and then are processed by our Grants Committee, in addition to a $100 stipend available to each teacher and staff member. Student Support pays mainly for AP testing discounts for test takers (expanded this year) and tutoring. It also covers smaller expenses associated with orientation activities and mental wellness support. The next biggest chunk—12 percent—helps pay for Student Celebrations such as Coffeehouse and Senior Salute and other much smaller celebrations. Here is a graphic we shared at our first PFLASA meeting this year to give you a visual.

    If you are interested in being more involved with how PFLASA spends its money or plans its scope of work for the year, consider volunteering to be on the board next year. We know that time and availability may be a concern, but we do have members who work full time and still manage their board duties. We are always available to talk to parents about what the board does (or what any particular committee or committee chair does), so hit us up!

    Successful Trustee Forum
    On October 23rd, PTSA sponsored its 2022 LASA Trustee Forum. A big THANK YOU to Sarah Romo de Vivar, Jayne Rosso and many other volunteers who helped make this happen. Special thanks to Brendan McInerney who stepped in to facilitate at the last minute and time-keeper Summer McInerney. Special thanks also to LASA staff, including Mrs. Switek and Ms. SiFuentes, along with our tireless (but tired) principal, Ms. Crescenzi, who managed to make it to the recruiting events held last Tuesday (Oct 18) evening at LASA, as well as the district-wide high school fair on Saturday, and the forum on Sunday.

    The forum was very interesting! If you missed it—you can find some of the candidates’ written responses to questions here: https://www.lasaptsa.org/trustee-forum. LASA was well represented and we are grateful to all the parents and students who came out.

    Now … don’t forget to VOTE!!!! Early voting has already begun. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, which also happens to be a student holiday!

    What’s Ahead
    Looking ahead, we have so many other things underway. In terms of recruitment of new LASA students for next year, there are several more opportunities for parents and families to learn about LASA on Oct 26 (at LASA) and Nov 3 (virtual). Spread the word! Mentoring is also ramping up and mentors are still needed. In addition, our Wellness Committee is meeting this week to begin planning some activities for parents. Chairs for these activities are, respectively, Virginia Jones, Jayne Rosso and Nina Miller.

    In other news, our Showcase Dinner for teachers will happen on November 16 and our hospitality chair, Olga Ovcharenko, will be planning that event. Our Giving Thanks Pie Event is set for the last day before Thanksgiving break—November 18—and is being organized by Rebecca Cook.

    Please email us at president@pflasa.org to be connected with any of these wonderful folks or just look for a volunteer sign up on the main LASA website. These are usually posted at least a week or so before the event at https://www.lasahighschool.org/signups.

    Latino Student Support

    Are you interested in getting more involved with the LASA Latino community (or do you have questions that others in the group may be able to answer?) Reach out to Lina Porras or Maria Cristina Hernandez, co-chairs of our Latino Outreach Committee, for more information about upcoming events and ways to engage. You can also email us at president@pflasa.org and we will connect you.

    Have a Spooky but Happy Halloween, y’all!

It’s October!

Happy October, everyone! It is even starting to feel a little like fall, at least in the mornings. And pumpkins have sure made their appearance at our local stores.

Our fundraising efforts have been going well, though we hope to garner even more donations this week for our No-Hassle Fundraiser—which ends Friday Oct 7th—and make a good showing on the Project Graduation Mini-Auction, which also wraps this week. If you missed it, don’t worry! There will be more opportunities to bid on a whole range of things during our general PG Auction, which happens in November. And you can donate directly anytime at https://pflasa.org/donate/.

In other news, the application process for students wanting to attend LASA starts soon. Check this site for up-to-date information: https://www.lasahighschool.org/admissions/apply-to-lasa. PFLASA has a program that helps 8th graders in area middle schools with their applications, known as our Mentoring program. This year, there may be a shorter window of time for applicants than we have had in the past and dozens of volunteers will be needed. If you are interested in mentoring, please fill out this form and attend a training session on Monday, Oct 10 – 2:30 – 3:45 PM or Tuesday, Oct 18 – 8:30 – 9:45 AM.

Beyond mentoring, PFASA also helps organize and stage “Roadshows” and “Showcase”—key recruiting events that happen in October and November. Many volunteers will be needed for these events as well, so please keep your eyes peeled for calls to action and volunteer sign ups! As an update—LASA will hold the “Roadshows” on campus this year (so they will have a new name); these are currently planned for Oct. 18th, 26th and there will be a virtual event on Nov. 3.

Ms. Crescenzi has mentioned that she would like to offer some evening educational events for parents. You may have responded to a survey that was advertised during Back to School Night and subsequently in the Principal’s Message, which will help shape those events. PFLASA may be able to assist with putting some of these on, depending on the topics of interest, so stay tuned for more information on how that unfolds and what assistance may be needed from PFLASA.

Our Tutoring program is going well. If your college student or his/her friends are interested in tutoring in Physics, we could probably use another Physics tutor. Send inquiries our way at president@pflasa.org. Some parents have asked about whether we can or will offer tutoring in other subjects such as Calculus, Pre-Calculus or writing. The short answer is, I don’t know. Ms. Crescenzi and her staff determine the needs. She will analyze “fail rates” at the end of the first 9 weeks, to see where students may be struggling the most. I would encourage parents to contact teachers and or Ms. Crescenzi directly with questions or concerns about tutoring. If we are asked to find tutors in other subjects, we will do all we can to recruit and hire them. In the meantime, check out these resources if your student needs additional support:
• https://www.lasahighschool.org/students/student-support-options
• https://pflasa.org/tutor-recommendations/

And don’t forget to urge your student to find office hours and attend regularly!

I will publish an update later this month to let everyone know how our fundraiser went. Meanwhile, there are two employee groups we are appreciating this month: custodians/housekeeping staff and bus drivers! Please join us in thanking them and honoring their service. We do have parent volunteers who have put together something special for both groups, but you can add to that by simply reminding your students to say, “Thank you,” and, as Ms. Crescenzi noted in her recent Principal’s Message, reminding them to clean up after themselves!

Speaking of saying “Thank You”, read on for a list of the brave and stalwart parents who have stepped up to lead or co-lead committees this year, and taken on other key leadership roles (in no particular order) …

• Diana Hubbard: Treasurer, PFLASA; Chair, Back to School Teacher Luncheon

• Nicole Truelock: Vice President, PFLASA; Chair, Spring Teacher and Staff Appreciation Lunch

• Lori Wallace: Vice-Chair, PFLASA Grants Committee; Coordinator, PFLASA Operations Manual

• Randi Bell: Assistant Treasurer, PFLASA; Co-chair, Teacher and Staff Appreciation

• Lisa Lyons: Chair, PFLASA Grants Committee; Lead, Project Graduation Grant Application and PFLASA Contract Review

• Elizabeth Bomba: Secretary, PFLASA

• Tammi Schroeder: Assistant Secretary, PFLASA

• Brandy Smallwood: Co-chair, Teacher and Staff Appreciation

• Lina Porras and Cristina Hernandez: Co-Chairs, Latino Outreach

• Nicole Basham and Stephanie Jarnigan: Co-Chairs/Editors, Lots of LASA Newsletter

• Stephanie Jarnigan and Emily Robson: Co-chairs, LASA Directory Update

• Yolanda Torres and Kary Goulet: Co-Chairs, Spanish Translation Team

• Velvet Hammerschmidt: Chair, Tutoring and Study Groups

• Jayne Rosso: Chair, Mentoring

• Virginia Jones: Chair, Roadshows and Showcase

• Rebecca Cooke: Chair, Giving Thanks Pie Event

• Nalini Kumar and Elise Su: Co-chairs, Senior Salute, Class of 2023

• Pete Gallego and María Elena Ramón: Co-Chairs, Project Graduation, Class of 2023

• Kristy Neff: Chair, Coffeehouse

• Meena Gopalsamy: Chair, Coffeehouse Ticket Sales

• Geeta Suggs (LASA Webmaster): Chair/Administrator, PFLASA Facebook Group; Chair, Bring Your Parent to School Days

• Olga Ovcharenko: Chair, Hospitality

• Kristin Davis: Chair, Fundraising

• Ami Cortes-Castillo: Project Graduation Auction

• Cara Firestone and Philip Courtois: Co-Chairs, PFLASA Technology

• Nina Miller: Chair, Wellness

• Cyril Kuhns: Chair, Alumni Group

Special thanks as well to the following volunteers for fulfilling other key roles:
• Financial Reconciliation (School Year 21-22): Michelle Manning and Bony Chatterjee
• New Teacher Bus Tour (Hosts): Meghan Riley & Omar Sayyed and Karen & John Rooff
• Project Graduation Auction: Summer McInerney, Ashley Thompson
• Appreciation Events: Claire Hobbs, Meggan Carcasi, Christal MacDonald, Belinda Roberts, Kristin Benton, and Jerry Haddican
• Zip Code Group Volunteers: Samantha Chang, Sara Rogers Smith, Randir Soni, and Heidi Connealy
• PFLASA Inventory System: Nancy Bachschmid

It would be nearly impossible to mention every volunteer by name, or acknowledge every effort made. But please know that PFLASA appreciates each and every parent contribution, whether you donate your money or time, whether you serve remotely or on campus, and whether you lend your support once or a dozen times. It is only through the collective efforts of the LASA community that we can accomplish all that we do.

Thank You!!!

In a separate post, I plan to talk about our Class Parent Representatives (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior) and what they are up to.

Enjoy some crisp weather and the gorgeous sunny days of October (if the ragweed doesn’t hit you too hard!). This month we meet on Oct 7th and 21st at 8:15 at LASA, in our usual room. Join us if you can!

PFLASA Blog 2022 Launches

Hello parents and friends! Welcome to our first PFLASA blog post of 2022!

Before reading further, you may be asking, with so many ways to communicate and stay connected at LASA and within PFLASA, what will this blog add to the mix? My hope is to provide informal updates and news that may provide a fuller picture of PFLASA activities and involvement than you might piece together from other sources, such as the Lots of LASA Newsletter, Google Group emails, Principal’s Messages, announcements on the LASA website or even our PFLASA meetings at the school. Each of these platforms has its own function, traditions, style and limitations as to space and time. Here, we can be a little more flexible.

One note before we jump in is to say that this blog is not conceived as subscription-based communication or specific promotion of events or drives. It is more of a letter to you, to read when you feel like it. Posts will live on the pflasa.org website for folks to check out at their leisure. If you are subscribed and would like to unsubscribe, feel free to do so. You will still see the link promoted in various places as a reminder and, of course, can check it out at any time. At the moment, I do not have a regular posting schedule established, but will try to post at least once per month.

SUMMER 2022

We had a busy summer as we on-boarded the new members of our board and did some deeper planning for the year ahead. You can read more about PFLASA and see a list of current board members here: https://pflasa.org/about.

Several board members took the lead to plan and organize events that happened before school even started, namely the New Teacher Bus Tour (Aug 4) and the Back-to-School Teacher Luncheon (Aug 11). Several of us were also on hand to welcome parents at New Parent Orientation that same day (Aug 11).

The New Teacher Bus Tour is a full day of activity. As part of the tour, a LASA parent hosts a breakfast for the new teachers and a panel of current LASA parents in their home, while another family hosts lunch for the same teachers and a panel of students later in the day. This year’s tour involved a bumper crop of new teachers, nearly 20, I believe. Many thanks to our hosting parents and their families who let us invade their space for a few hours in early August.

In July, the Latino Outreach Committee hosted a dinner at the LASA campus, after something of a hiatus in terms of such in-person events. It was fun and well-attended!

Our treasurer also worked hard over the summer to organize records, so that our annual financial reconciliation could be accomplished. PFLASA is a 501(c)3, and this is one of our annual “must dos”. We appreciate the volunteers who stepped up to do the needed review.

Check out a list of our committees and events here: https://pflasa.org/committees/

A NEW SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS!

Once the school year began, PFLASA supported teachers with a hearty meal of BBQ before they met with parents at Back-to-School Night in September. We also kicked off our 2022 No-Hassle Fundraiser that same week. Both efforts are being led by new parent volunteer chairs and we are grateful for their service. The board also put together a tutoring and study groups program, which began this past week and will be chaired by another new parent volunteer we are very fortunate to have. (PS—Not naming names here, but I am working on a THANK YOU page to properly appreciate our many parent volunteers).

Meanwhile, the board has already fielded and approved several requests from teachers and staff for professional development and classroom support. In addition, we have committee chairs and members who have been working hard to get our Project Graduation Auction up and running, plan our teacher and staff appreciation activities for the year, review venue options for some of our celebratory major events, and much more. You will hear more about all of these efforts in future posts.

Never a dull moment when there is so much going on!

PFLASA MEETS

PFLASA had our kick-off meeting for the year on Aug 26th and enjoyed a wonderful turnout. We followed with our second meeting of the year on Sept 9th and saw many new and returning faces there. We know these meetings are hard for many folks to attend and we appreciate the effort that those who can and do come put forth! Even if you can only come occasionally, we would love to see you. Please introduce yourself when you do! Our next meeting is Sept 23rd.

Our meetings generally consist of some brief business (like approval of minutes), updates on committee activities, announcements on upcoming events and needs, and a report from our principal, Ms. Crescenzi, after which she takes questions from the group. See our list of scheduled meetings here: https://pflasa.org/pflasa-meetings/.

What questions do you have for PFLASA board members? What else would you like to see shared on our dedicated website (www.pflasa.org) or addressed at our meetings? What are the ways you would like to contribute to the organization? Let us know at president@pflasa.org.